Creekstone latest Gold Hill builder

       Creekstone Homes is the latest builder in the Gold Hill Mesa development. The locally owned company has nearly finished two model homes - a one-story and a two-story on Gold Hill Mesa Drive - that will be in the upcoming Holiday Parade of Homes.

The exteriors of the two Creekstone models in the Gold Hill Mesa development can be seen. Both in the builder's "Folk" series, the "Baez" is at left and the "Dylan" at right.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Both structures are close to 4,000 square feet in size, with porches, large basements, tall interior doors and multicar attached garages that are set behind the homes so as not to distract from the streetscape, explained Jason Rose, Creekstone's sales manager.
       Such is also in keeping with the historic Westside style that's always sought at Gold Hill Mesa, according to developer Bob Willard. “They look good,” he said of the Creekstone work. “The wraparound porch is really cool.”
       The Holiday Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Homebuilders Association, will be the weekends of Dec. 11-13 and 18-20, from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $5.
       Creekstone is the third builder at Gold Hill Mesa. The initial 62 units, starting in 2006, were built by John Laing, which went bankrupt in the past year, leaving 45 untouched lots and four partially built houses that are still tied up in litigation.
       Coming on last summer, Challenger Homes has bought eight lots so far and built homes on several of them, while Creekstone has 10 more lots it can build on. “Our plan is to be here for the life of the project,” Rose said. “Developers and builders don't always see eye to eye, but that hasn't been the case here.”
       The initial Creekstone homes are in the company's “folk” series (the one-story model is named “Baez” and the two-story is “Dylan”) and are priced near or above $300,000, depending on options. There also will be an “American” series, which will include smaller, less expensive homes in the 1,500-square-foot range, Rose said. He added that Creekstone designed “all-new floor plans” so as to fit into Gold Hill style. “We didn't just take plans we had and bring them here,” he said.
       According to Willard, a fourth builder may be about to join the fold. Negotiations were taking place this week.

A view from the upstairs of the Dylan model. Creekstone is the third builder at Gold Hill Mesa.
Westside Pioneer photo

       One reason for having several builders is to avoid being caught in a Laing-type situation again, where Gold Hill had only one builder and thus all construction came to a halt for a while after the bankruptcy happened. Also, Willard said that in the current business climate, with restrictions on real-estate borrowing, construction is more restricted. Only a few homes at a time typically get built, after which the builder waits to sell them so he can afford to build more, Willard summarized.
       But he is optimistic, looking ahead. Challenger has done well with its sales, and the initial open houses for Creekstone produced several qualified buyers, he said.
       In addition, with the recent completion of a fitness center in the Gold Hill community center, buyers can be shown another reason for living in the 210-acre development that's masterplanned for 1,000 houses or attached units off Lower Gold Camp Road, 21st Street and Highway 24.
       A new amenity for builders is an “information center” - also in the community center - which is scheduled to be ready for use by Dec. 5. The 1,300-square-foot space will be staffed regularly by a Gold Hill Mesa employee - part of the development's service to its builders, Willard said - and provide prospective buyers with brochures and renderings and answers to questions.
       Willard also expects the Holiday Parade of Homes - for which the two Creekstone models and the nearby community center will be decorated with Christmas lights - to attract more attention to Gold Hill.
       As for 2009, “we're looking forward to a pretty exciting year,” he said. “I think the market is right to start buying again, and we have the nicest package around for new homes.”

Westside Pioneer article